Nathula Pass is a mountain pass in North Eastern Himalayas in Sikkim. The Indo-Chinese border is nestled at an elevation of 14,140 feet. It serves as the trade link between India and China. Nathula Pass is among the highest passes accessible by tourists via motorable road. One of the points on the Old Silk Route, this mountainous pass is one of the oldest trading border posts connecting Tibet and India. Marked by gates of both countries (India and China) and military bunkers on both sides, it is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Sikkim.
What to see in Nathula Pass:
A great place to visit in North East India especially Sikkim, Nathula Pass in Gangtok is one of the most beautiful mountain passes of the world. The road to Nathula from Gangtok is amazing, the winding path is blessed with views of the spectacular mountain scenery. The other places to not miss include the breathtakingly blue Tsomgo Lake (also known as Changu Lake) and the Baba Harbhajan Mandir. At the border check-post at Nathula one can view the the Border Gates of India and China. The war memorial and an Exhibition Centre of India Army are some places you must explore. On a clear day, you can also enjoy great views of Mt. Chomolhari in Tibet. Tourists need to park their vehicles, a little distance away from Nathula and walk to reach the actual border. There are around 90 steps to climb to the border gates and Army memorial. The climbing of steps at such high-altitude is quite difficult, therefore it is advised not to rush up the stairs, as you may go out of breath after sometime. The Nathula Pass stays fully closed for tourists usually on Mondays and Tuesdays. However, on other days of the week, it closes by 1:30 PM.
Accommodation in Nathu La Pass: As it is a border post, the army occupies the area. There is no accommodation option at Nathula Pass for tourists. If by any chance you are stranded at the place, then the Indian Army accommodates you for one night.
Best time to visit Nathula Pass:
The best time to visit Nathula Pass is from May to October. During this time, the temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius which is favorable for a North East tour. During the winter season, the region becomes inaccessible due to the heavy snowfall.
How to reach Nathula Pass:
Nathula is a mountain pass in Sikkim, sharing borders with China. The closest well-connected town is in Gangtok, almost 54 km away. The closest airport is Bagdogra Airport, at a distance of 178 km. The nearest railway head is New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri. Sturdy SUVs and vehicles like Innova, Bolero, and Scorpio, etc. ply on the treacherous roads of Nathula Pass.
Ques: How do I get a permit for Nathula Pass?
Ans: Nathu La is a Himalayan mountain pass in the East Sikkim district connecting the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Indian nationals need a valid permit to visit the Nathula Pass. You can apply for a permit to the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department through a registered travel agency. A photo ID proof and two passport size photographs are required for it. You can visit Nathula pass only by a vehicle provided by such a registered tour operator.